"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth" Song of Solomon 1:2
Bible scholar, Tremper Longman says:
"The first poem is a passionate exclamation on the part of the woman, who desires union with the man. The woman takes the initiative here and in many of the poems of the Song. The aggressiveness of the woman in the Song undermines our stereotypes of ancient gender roles and instructs those today who look to the Bible for guidance in matters of relationships."
"My lover went down to his garden, to the bed of spices, to graze in the garden, to pluck the lilies. I belong to my lover, and my lover belongs to me - he grazes among the lilies."
Song of Solomon 6:2-3
According to Bible scholar, Tremper Longman, the "garden" mentioned here is a "symbol both for the woman herself as well as for the place where love is made." He also mentions the theme of grazing expresses intimacy.
"So much does the devil hate the estate (of marriage); as he also otherwise, wherever he can, constantly opposes and interrupts God's word and work, and often succeeds in making man and wife sullen and afterwards impatient and bitter towards each other, so that their pleasure is turned into displeasure and their joy into anger and pain." Martin Luther (1536)
Let's face it ladies, we women are rarely happy with the way we look. If you're like me, you cringe when you see yourself naked in the mirror. After having four children, I have my problem areas that I despise and work hard to get rid of. There are times when I feel okay with my body and there are times when I just want to cry over what I see in the mirror. Sadly, our body image insecurities make their appearance in the bedroom. We hide under the blankets when we make love, insists the room be pitch black, tense if we suspect our spouse can see our jiggly parts, and wear baggy t-shirts to bed.
Part of the reason we feel so horrible about ourselves is because we're surrounded by unhealthy, unrealistic images of tall, anorexic looking women on TV, movies, billboards, magazines, Internet, at the mall, you name it, they are everywhere! Don't buy into the lie that you need to look like one of them. We women come in all shapes and sizes. Who said there's only one attractive size?
When we focus on our flaws we rob ourselves and our husbands of joy. Realize that when we withhold sex or have angst during sex because of our body image it comes down to an issue of pride......our pride. The message you are sending your husband is this "I don't like the way I look so I won't participate and/or enjoy intimacy with you." Ouch!
Guess what? Your dear husband who initiates sex with you finds you attractive!!! He wants to see your naked body. It's the only naked body he's allowed to look at so why not give him the pleasure imperfections and all? Would you rather have him look at porn? I know it's hard to bare it all sometimes, believe me, I know. So here's a few things that have helped me over the years:
1. If you truly don't feel comfortable in your birthday suit, find lingerie that compliments your body shape. Invest, yes it might cost you some $$$, in quality products. I'm talking revealing lingerie, not floor length flannel.
2. Buy a corset! For those of you who haven't read my post on the virtues of the my best friend, the corset, you can find it here.
3. If you're not comfortable with lights in the bedroom, try a few candles in the room. Who doesn't look good by candlelight?
4. Practice random acts of flashing. Flash your husband unexpectedly. If you've always dressed in the bathroom, undress and dress in front of him. While you're cooking dinner give him a sneak peak. Of course you want to make sure little eyes are not around.
5. Sleep in the buff.
6. Exercise. When you have a consistent routine you feel better about yourself and your body, no matter what body type you have.
One the healthiest things a couple can do to help their sex life is simply have a conversation. Every couple needs to have honest communication about their intimate life. I encourage you to ask your husband if he is happy with your sex life. Does he feel you have sex enough? Too much? What would he like to do differently? What turns him on? Having a conversation like this is vital! Why? Well, because sometimes we assume too much. We assume we know how our husbands feel. We assume our husbands are happy. We assume things are okay, when in reality they are far from okay.
A few years after my third child was born I had a discussion like this with my husband. I honestly thought everything was fine, peachy even. As we talked and told me how he felt rejected when I dismissed his advances. He told me how my lack of enthusiasm in the bedroom made him feel unwanted and dejected. My first reaction to his honesty was one of anger. At the time I was balancing work, home, family, and church. I felt like I was running on a hamster wheel, on a marathon of never ending demands, and my spouse had the gull to complain !!!!???? But by God's grace I was able to calm down and try to empathize. I had to remind myself that he thinks differently than me, his needs are different, not wrong. In short, my first reaction was to dismiss his comments and fight with him because he didn't think like me, or act like. This was the man who loved me, loved our children, was our faithful spiritual head, worked hard for us, and to boot made me smile every day. Didn't he deserve not feel rejected? Didn't I promise to love him all those years ago when I stood in front of the pastor clad in white?
We had a God ordained heart to heart. I told him how my fatigue was just that, fatigue, and not rejection of him. I assured him that I still found him handsome and loved him very much. I promised to set aside time and put effort into our sex lives. He offered to help me more with the kids, thought of ways he could help reduce my stress. We talked about the details, what I would like him to do in the bedroom and vice- versa. He was more than happy to comply. What was the end result, you ask? We had sex more often. I bought new lingerie and we tried new things in the bedroom. We giggled a lot, had fun, and in the end felt even more connected to one another. Our bond of love grew and my eyes were opened.
So, my dear sisters, in your quest to get into the mood I encourage you to have a very open, frank conversation with your hubby about the state of your sex life. Pray before hand! Don't get defensive and do try to empathize.
I know this sounds strange to some, but if you’re experiencing low libido and are puzzled as to why it’s important to go see a doctor. I know, I know, who wants to sit in a doctor’s office and have a conversation about the most intimate part of your life, right? I understand, but keep in mind that low libido can be caused by many, many conditions and diseases. It’s wise to go to a doctor, explain your situation, and get checked out physically. Did you know that many common diseases cause low libido? Things like high blood pressure and diabetes are big culprits. Many medications can also cause low libido. Your doctor may be able to pinpoint a physical cause to your lack of libido.
Continuing the conversation of low libido, I'm starting a series about getting in the mood. There are many practical things that can be done to increase your libido. Let me start off by saying that if you find yourself rarely being in the mood, you're not alone. God has designed our bodies differently than our husbands. Science reveals that men have much more testosterone running through their bodies, which causes them to think about and intiate sex a whole lot more than we women do. Of course there are exceptions to rule, but in general we women don't think about sex nearly as often as men do. That being the case, we women can't just sit around and wait for the mood to strike. In some cases it may rarely, or never strike!
So what's a woman to do? Should those of us who are rarely in the mood just expect our husbands to deal with it and endure a marriage devoid of intimacy? Certainly not! First, realize that sexual intimacy with your husband is key to your marriage and resolve to consider it a priority. Keep "sex with hubby" at the top of your list of things to do. Secondly, pray, pray, pray. Pray for your marriage, for your husband, and for yourself. Ask the Lord for grace to be a giving and considerate wife, putting the needs of your husband ahead of your own. Above all, pray that all that you do would be to the glory of God!
Ladies, this is where we begin. Stay tuned for more on how to get in the mood.
In my post a few weeks ago I addressed the issue of low libido. As I stated in my post, I don't pretend to be in expert in the myriad of causes. Thankfully, there are great resources online for those of you who have lost that lovin' feeling and want some answers as to why. Here's the Mayo Clinic's top reasons for low libido in women.
I'm a Christian woman who has been married for over twenty years. I'm also a pastor's wife who strongly believes that God intended sex to be enjoyed and celebrated within the context of marriage. I hope to encourage and challenge married women to enjoy their God given gift of marital sex.